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How to Avoid these 4 Common Mistakes When Planning a Destination Wedding in Portugal

Planning a destination wedding in Portugal promises an enchanting experience, with its picturesque landscapes, captivating culture, and warm hospitality. Over the last decade we have had the honour to organise beautiful and meaningful weddings and love celebrations, welcoming couples and their guests from all corners of the globe.

Asian bride arranging sleeves of bridal dress

Although organising is at the core of our job, our first and foremost priority is to align expectations to what is realistically feasible and to align expectations to your budget. We aim to provide transparency, so that you can set realistic expectations and align these to what is feasible for a seamless, joyful and meaningful wedding experience in Portugal.

Here are four common mistakes couples often make when planning their wedding in Portugal, along with tips to avoid them.

Mistake nº 1 - Underestimating the Sun

The beautiful weather is one of the main reasons why couples choose Portugal to get married. With its Mediterranean climate, Portugal boasts long hours of sunshine, making it an idyllic setting for outdoor weddings. However, Many couples underestimate the potent sun and high temperatures, especially during the high summer. In the months between June and September temperatures can be well above 40 celcius degrees which can lead to serious discomfort on the wedding day.


  • Plan your ceremony and reception timings strategically to avoid the harsh midday sun. In this article we provide further insights about the ideal wedding day timeline.

  • Opt for late afternoon or early evening ceremonies when the sun is less intense.

  • Provide ample shade with tents, umbrellas, or pergolas, and offer guests sunscreen and hydration stations to keep them comfortable throughout the festivities.

  • Have a Plan B prepared for when it gets too hot, meaning that you may need to consider pushing back the timing of the ceremony or opting against an outdoor affair.

Hand umbrellas in a wooden box with hats

Mistake nº 2 - Underestimating the Need for Local Wedding Professionals

The quality of the wedding experience depends on the team you hire. This is crucial for all weddings, but even more so for destination weddings, where you won't be able to have the same level of involvement as you would for a wedding at home. The same principle applies to getting guests involved. This rarely (if ever!) results in a smooth and seamless experience.


  • Invest in experienced wedding planners, photographers, caterers, and other vendors who specialize in destination weddings in Portugal. They have invaluable local knowledge, connections, and expertise to ensure every detail of your celebration is flawlessly executed, allowing you to relax and enjoy your special day without worrying about logistics.

  • We recommend to work with Local Wedding Professionals. They are not only familiar with local customs, but also know how to navigate unforeseen circumstances like traffic or sudden change in weather. With Portugal being their home, they undeniably contribute to a smooth and seamless wedding experience for you and your guests.

Mistake nº3 - Underestimating the "We Will Sort This Ourselves"

While it's tempting to DIY certain aspects of your wedding to cut costs, underestimating the expertise of local wedding professionals can lead to unnecessary stress and compromised quality. Many couples fall into the trap of believing they can handle all the wedding arrangements independently, only to find themselves overwhelmed as the big day approaches.

Lunch buffet

On the wedding day, even the simplest tasks can become surprisingly challenging away from the comfort of home. Couples often underestimate the demands and time constraints of the day, leading to overwhelming stress when unexpected hurdles arise.

A couple once decided to handle lunch themselves for a handful of the wedding guests who stayed with them in the venue. the first bakery was closed for holidays, the second nearly out of food, and the third inaccessible due to a market blocking parking. they arrived back at the venue 1.5 hours behind schedule , overheated and stressed out.


  • While it's admirable to take a hands-on approach, remember that planning a destination wedding involves numerous logistical challenges, language barriers, and cultural differences. Communicate openly with your wedding planner or coordinator and trust their guidance to ensure a smooth and stress-free planning process.

Mistake nº4 - Expecting Everything to Be Cheaper in Portugal

While Portugal may offer competitive prices compared to some other destination wedding locations, it's essential to budget realistically. Certain services or venues may still be costly, especially in popular tourist areas or during peak wedding season. While Portugal offers a wide range of services, in certain niche areas such as Indian weddings, the availability of high-quality vendors may be limited, thereby impacting pricing.


  • Get a sense of your Budget´s worth with our Free Budget Simulation, which you can download by following the link to this article, where we provide you with in-depth information about the Costs of a Wedding in Portugal.

  • Establish a realistic budget based on your priorities and desired level of luxury and allocate funds accordingly.

  • Remember, quality and value are more important than simply seeking the lowest prices and remember that it is not a vendor's job to meet your budget constrains when negotiating. In this article you will learn more about Negotiating with Wedding Vendors in Portugal.

In conclusion, planning a destination wedding in Portugal is an exciting adventure filled with endless possibilities. By avoiding these common mistakes and embracing the expertise of local professionals, you can ensure a magical and memorable celebration that exceeds your expectations.

Happy Planning!


Photo credits: (1) Hugo Coelho - (2) Rui Teixeira Fotografia - (3) Momento Cativo



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